Down the Shore

First Responders Pull 35 Swimmers from Perilous Ocean Waters on One Beach This Weekend

First responders are on the scene of a late-afternoon water rescue involving a father, daughter and another man on Belmar’s 17th Avenue beach on Sunday, September 24, according to authorities. Credits: Brian Wilton
Belmar First Aid Squad vehicles were common sights along the beachfront this weekend as a total of 35 water rescues were made on September 23 and 24. Credits: Cathy Goetz

BELMAR, NJ — Despite a swimming ban on Belmar beaches triggered by dangerous rip currents, 35 persons were pulled this weekend from the rough surf by first responders, according to authorities.

Although there were no serious injuries reported, ocean rescues on September 23 and 24 kept the all-volunteer Belmar Water Rescue Team and Belmar First Aid Squad, as well as the police department, extremely busy ensuring the safety of all beachgoers during the unusually warm weekend — even those who repeatedly refused to heed their warnings, authorities said.

“We’ve been begging people to stay out of the water,” said Lake Como Mayor Brian Wilton, a member of the Belmar Rescue Team who was leading its effort this weekend. “They would watch us do a serious rescue and then they didn't want to understand why they couldn’t go in the water.”

Sign Up for E-News

Also, several beachgoers reported numerous incidents of people being told by first responders or police to get out of the surf, only to go back into the water immediately afterward.

Because of the severe water conditions, Wilton said that 12 rescue team members volunteered to continue beachfront patrols through dusk on Sunday.

On Saturday, September 24, one of the rescues required the Belmar Water Rescue Team to ask for assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Delaware Bay were notified by the team at about 5:50 p.m. that swimmers were in distress off the Fourth Avenue beach.

A 29-foot response boat was dispatched from the Coast Guard’s nearby Shark River station. While two lifeguards and an off-duty police officer also swam out to assist the swimmers, the boat crew arrived on the scene and recovered five people from the water, according to the Coast Guard. They were transported to the Shark River station, where emergency medical service personnel delivered assistance.

Belmar’s swimming ban is expected to remain in effect until surf conditions improve. As Hurricane Maria continues to churn along the East Coast, the National Weather Service reports there is a high risk for the formation of dangerous and life-threatening rip currents at ocean beaches at the Jersey Shore through at least September 25.

Belmar's implementation of a swimming ban on September 24 came on the same day a swimmer died after being pulled from the waters off Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park in Long Branch. Information of the victim's identity has not been released by authorities. On September 22, Erin Higgins, 42, of Harriman, N.Y., died after being pulled by first responders from the ocean on September 20 on the Asbury Park beach near Deal Lake Drive.

And several months ago, Belmar suffered its own tragic drowning incidents when cousins Mitzi Hernandez Nicolas, 13, and Emily Gonzalez Perez, 12, were pulled from the Ninth Avenue beach on June 15. While Hernandez Nicolas was pulled unconscious from the waters and pronounced dead, Gonzalez Perez died several days later.

In August, Belmar placed rip current warning signs and flotation buoys at 19 locations along its 1.3-mile oceanfront — its first step in a public education campaign to raise water safety awareness on its beaches.

The signs are written in both English and Spanish and include a large diagram on how to get out of a rip current. The signage and safety-orange buoys also have been placed at Belmar’s L Street Beach on the Shark River, located near Maclearie Park on Route 35.

TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Sign up to get all the news as it happens at www.TAPinto.net/enews and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TAPintoBelmarLakeComo and on Twitter at @TAPintoBelmar.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Warren

Missing: Have You Seen Duchess?

November 20, 2017

PLAINFIELD, NJ -Have you seen Duchess? Duchess is white with a black patch on her face and is a pit mix.

Duchess was LOST on October 27 in Plainfield near S 2nd Street and Rock Avenue. 

For more info or to contact Duchess's owner, click here.

 

Upcoming Events

Fri, November 24, 10:00 AM

The Red Mill Museum Village, Clinton

Festival of Trees

Arts & Entertainment Education Home & Garden Other

Carousel_image_cb9a920305b795f18b7d_xmas4

Sat, December 2, 10:00 AM

Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge

Friends of Lord Stirling Stable Winter Holiday ...

Arts & Entertainment Education Food & Drink

Carousel_image_cb9a920305b795f18b7d_xmas4

Sun, December 3, 10:00 AM

Lord Stirling Stable, Basking Ridge

Friends of Lord Stirling Stable Winter Holiday ...

Arts & Entertainment Education Food & Drink

40th Annual Festival Of Trees Begins December 1

November 22, 2017

 

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - The Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center will present Somerset County’s most creative and beautiful winter spectacular, the 40th Annual Festival of Trees at the Environmental Education Center located at 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge.

The 40th Festival of Trees opens to the public on Saturday, Dec. 2 and will remain ...

Clinton's Festival of Trees

CLINTON, NJ - This Festival of Trees annual holiday favorite returns to the Red Mill Museum Village here on Friday, Nov. 24 just in time for the holiday season.

The Festival features a beautiful display of decorated trees, wreaths and centerpieces that are available to win through the raffle.

The Festival opens the day after Thanksgiving, which is also the same weekend as the Clinton ...

The First Holiday Season Without Your Person — Making a Plan, Checking it Twice

If you are facing your first holiday after an important person in your life has died, it’s not too early to come up with a plan. Watching others who are feeling thankful and are celebrating when we feel overwhelmed, lonely or sad can be very painful. Holidays force us to realize how much our lives have been changed by the loss of our loved one.   

The first step in coping ...

Obituaries

- Oct 26, 2017
Robert N. Merkle – Plainfield Robert N. Merkle, 88, died Thursday, (October 26, 2017) at ...
Read more

Parting Advice from Four Decades on the Front Lines of Local News

November 11, 2017

In February 1978 I walked into the office of The Rahway News-Record and Clark Patriot to begin what I thought was to be a short-term job stepping stone. 

Instead, it turned out to be a nearly 40-year odyssey in local journalism—including the last eight—overwhelmingly great—years with The Alternative Press (TapInto.Net).

I have decided it is time to spend more time in ...

Somerville Approves Free Downtown Parking During Holiday Season

November 21, 2017

SOMERVILLE, NJ - As expected, the Borough Council last night continued its longstanding holiday tradition of waiving parking fees between Thanksgiving and New Year’s to help boost retail traffic in the downtown area.

The resolution, which passed unanimously, waives parking fees in Lots 1, 2, 4 and 6. A pre-existing holiday and weekend parking ordinance was amended to include Lot 4 ...

Third Suspect in Somerville Shooting Surrenders to Police

SOMERVILLE, NJ - The third suspect wanted in connection with a shooting on the south side of Somerville on Oct. 26 has surrendered to police, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Joseph N. Wright, 25, of Schindler Terrace, Bridgewater, has been charged with first degree attempted murder, second degree possession of a firearm, second degree unlawful possession of a ...

A Somerset Hills Tradition, Colonial Christmas at Vanderveer House, Kicks Off Late

BEDMINSTER, NJ - The 15th annual Colonial Christmas celebration at the historic Jacobus Vanderveer House and Museum off Route 206, will be open to the public for the next two weekends, Nov. 25-26, and Dec. 2-3. The event will be open daily during both weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All invited to tree lighting next Friday evening

The festivities are due to kick off with a tree ...

Couple Faces Weapons Charges After Arrest at Route 22 Motel

SOMERVILLE, NJ - A Manville couple has been arrested and face multiple weapons and assault charges following an incident at a Route 22 hotel in Bridgewater, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Justin M. Matthews, 37, and Deborah L. Nickerson, 35, both of Brooks Boulevard in Manville are being held in Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Robertson ...

Free Thanksgiving Day Dinner at the Sandbox Cafe in Surf City

November 22, 2017

SURF CITY - All are invited to attend a free thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings.  The dinner will be held on Thanksgiving Day from 12-5 p.m. at the Sandbox Cafe, Surf City location. 

 

 

 

The address is 1403 Long Beach Boulevard in Surf City.